Why You Should Never, Ever Write for Xomba

Xomba used to be a great bookmarking site

What Xomba Was

When Xomba first began, it was a social bookmarking site that gave people not only a link for people to follow but a share of the Adsense revenue. Each bookmark had its own page and users earned a share from each of the pages they created with bookmarks. That was a format that worked well for a couple of years. People bookmarked things they liked, things they wanted to promote, and even affiliate links were allowable bookmarks. I made a decent little side income from Xomba along with my many other rev sharing income.

At some point, the site decided that having just a short description of each bookmark wasn't enough. A description of at least 50 words became required. That's perfectly understandable you may think, and that's certainly what I thought. I had no problem writing 50 words to go along with the bookmarks. The income remained decent for a little-known site, and those who used the site regularly liked it for both the exposure and the small regular income.

If you have Web content that you need to market, such as Hubs you have written, articles that aren't getting enough readers and a blog that needs attention, you need to start using social bookmarking sites to get better traffic. These sites can be used by anyone to bookmark their work, as well as interesting work of other people, to get a higher readership.

Enter Panda

Once Google's Panda algorithm change hit, the site lost a sizable chunk of its traffic. That's what happened to most sites like it, and like most of them, Xomba decided to reorganize.

What Xomba Became

Instead of a fun bookmarking site that everyone enjoyed using, Xomba decided that it was now an article site that required lengthy articles only. And here's the kicker- you could no longer link to your work. That's right- they wanted you to write long articles for a site that got little traffic and did not allow you to actually bookmark anything.

And here's the kicker- if you didn't know that the site had completely changed its entire purpose and all of its rules, you are immediately banned for trying to link to anything. Guess what happened to me and many, many other loyal users of the site?

My Xomba History

I started with Xomba when it was pretty knew. It wasn't being used much, but I helped to change that. I used it a lot and was one of it's highest-ranked users. I also wrote several articles for other freelancers about how to use the site and what Web writers, bloggers and Internet marketers could get out of it. I also became a feature writer of the site, a position that promised me a lot and actually gave me absolutely nothing. But, I kept going because I liked the site and there was a rev share involved.

After years of using the site, I took a few months off from it when the revenue just wasn't there. I then decided to go back to Xomba and create some new bookmarks and blurbs for the site. I saw that the new format was requiring a long article instead of a 50-word description. That was fine, I thought. A lot of sites now require this. I wrote a long, original article and inserted one contextual link that pertained to the subject matter.

The next day, I was completely banned from the site. Everything that I had ever written for the site was deleted, including feature articles, blurbs, bookmarks and description and the article I had submitted the day before. Yes, every single thing, and there were hundreds of them, was deleted.

I emailed for some kind of explanation. I was told only that I had violated the new rule against links (even though the system does allow you to insert them and the site built its name on allowing links), and anyone violating this rule is now immediately banned. I emailed twice more to ask whether there was any way to get reinstated since I hadn't known about the rule. There was never any answer. In the arrogance of Xomba, they now think they are better than the people who helped build the site. Loyalty means absolutely nothing to them, and I suppose it never has.

The real question I have is how they could be so incredibly stupid. To delete items that had been making money for them for years simply because they've had a temper tantrum seems counterproductive. To get rid of loyal users who could have easily been giving some type of notification and warning is worse than incompetent. And guess what? Since I've been spreading the word I've heard from close to a dozen people who have said the same thing- they sent in a good article that contained a link and were immediately banned and everything they'd had at the site for years was deleted. And like me, they weren't even given the work back so that it could be posted elsewhere.

I don't expect the site to last much longer with this kind of management. I can't imagine the point of writing for a site that is now so useless. But if you've been thinking about it, you've been warned. Even if you study the new rules, the rules can change tomorrow and if you don't know them, you too will be unceremoniously kicked to the curb and virtually spit at.

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